March 03, 2009


Romans 12:1-3

Do not conform … to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2


We all conform to something. Less than 1 percent of our thoughts are original. The media play a powerful role in shaping who we are and what we think we need. We often become what other people expect us to be.

The apostle Paul coaches us not to conform to the world’s pattern but to be transformed. Conforming to the world is like removing the screen door to our minds and letting all the bugs fly in. Transformation means refusing to comply with the evil influences of our culture, and instead conforming to the character of Christ.

A psychologist I know attempted to get his client’s attention with a dramatic demonstration. He filled a glass with water, added dust and lint from a corner, cigarette butts from an ash tray, a dried piece of gum from under the table, and then asked the client to drink it. Of course the client refused. Then the doctor pointed out how the client was constantly polluting her mind through the worldly influences she allowed into her brain.

Just as we put on clean clothing after a bath, so we can put on Christ (Galatians 3:27). As you ask Christ to dwell in you richly, you can expect joy beyond limits, peace that passes understanding, hope that overcomes despair, and love that allows you to care for people whom you once ignored.

Today, begin to live out the character of your Lord.

Father, my thoughts and actions are often controlled by earthly influences. I want to be conformed to Christ. Renew my mind so I can see how perfectly pleasing your will is. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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